Monday, January 4, 2016

Infinite Sight by Barbara Custer

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use. 

I don’t have any pen names, but my buddies know me as Barbara of the Balloons. Why? Because Mylar balloons are my trademark. I work full time as a respiratory therapist and have been writing horror and science fiction off and on for about 20 years. Sometimes the experiences on my job find their way to the printed page. I also edit a bi-annual magazine Night to Dawn, which comes out with dark fantasy and horror short stories, poetry, and illustrations.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release. 
Infinite Sight is a science fiction tale featuring a caregiver devastated by an error which caused an infant’s death. Because of a visual impairment, she struggles to read fine print. After emergency surgery, she discovers she has mental telepathic powers. When an extraterrestrial ship crash-lands near her home, she investigates and happens upon a survivor who needs her help. Motivated by guilt-ridden feelings over the baby, she rescues him, catapulting herself into a war between two alien armies.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life? 

Sometimes, and I also base it on actual circumstances, too. I did this with Infinite Sight and Steel Rose. Lilly of Infinite Sight was based on a former coworker who, despite her best efforts, had a hard time mastering the use of the ventilators required on our job, particularly in the neonatal care units. Sometimes after a particularly bad day, I’d catch her crying her eyes out. Writing Lilly was easy, but then I took artistic license with the circumstances, and brought her into a meeting with the alien. In Steel Rose, protag Alexis was based on me before I had surgeries on my wrists for severe arthritis. Again, I took artistic license with her circumstances. Often, I will feature a character who’s a combination of two or more people I’ve met.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? 

When I’m not writing, I’m working at my day job, editing material for Night to Dawn, or visiting my husband Mike. He’s in a nursing home due to severe Parkinson’s. Other times I might chase Mylar balloons when I do my grocery shopping. Okay, I’ll ‘fess up. The balloons chase me, and thought I might set out to get bread and milk, somehow the balloons land in my shopping cart, and either the milk or bread get left behind. I love collecting Mylar balloons, and I have about eighty of them.

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? 

I’d definitely want to try some humor. Lots of folks feel I should try writing a book based on my balloon collections (and make the balloons characters). That would be an interesting project. J

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? 

I do …. When Blood Reigns, the sequel of Steel Rose. Here, protag Alexis and her team go out and kick some serious zombie butt and goes after alien renegade soldiers.   

What book are you reading now? 

I just finished reading Sealing the Dark Portal by Margaret L. Carter, a paranormal romance with elements of adventure and science fiction. The protag Rina learns that nothing she thinks she knows about her past is true. She thinks she’s an ordinary librarian whose family died in a car wreck. Yet she has nightmares about her parents dying in an earthquake in a city overrun by monsters.  Why? I had to keep turning the pages to find out.

What is in your to read pile?  

I have several books on Kindle that I bought as a “reward” for good promo or finishing a project. Charles Gramlich’s The Machineries of Mars; The Secret Life of Mr. X by MrsXNoMore; Desperate, Disturbed, Deranged and Double-Lattéd by Kelly Jamison; and last, but not lease, a hardback version of Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

Infinite Sight
Barbara Custer

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Night to Dawn Magazine & Books LLC

Date of Publication:  11/30/2015 (tentative)

ISBN: 978-1-937769-42-0 (print)

Number of pages: 112 pages
Word Count: 25,225

Cover Artist: Marge Simon

Book Description:

Devastated by an error which caused an infant’s death, Lilly becomes deathly ill and collapses from loss of blood. She wakes up from emergency surgery with mental telepathic powers.

When an extraterrestrial ship crash-lands near her home, she investigates and happens upon a survivor who needs her help. Motivated by guilt-ridden feelings over the baby, she rescues him, catapulting herself into a war between two alien armies.

Now the renegade soldiers are on her trail and have marked her for death.

Available at Amazon

Excerpt 1:

In the woods, she coughed her way through a maze of twisted oaks. She hacked and gagged on the stink of sulfur; the smell was worse around the ship, which lay between shattered aisles of trees it had destroyed in its descent. Flames flickered from its open hatchway. The ship itself lay canted to one side with air bubbles bursting all around it. On its left side, pieces of metal scattered in the grass. Shining her light on the ship, Lilly happened upon warped metal strips protruding over one side. Underneath the ship, glowing embers leaped and twirled in a blue fiery dance. Face dripping with sweat, she shot glances right and left. Where are the firemen? The police? My neighbors? Enormous Christmas ornaments like this don’t crash and burn every day. Surely either radar or other scanner devices had detected this.
Leaves crunched to her right, followed by a scraping of branches. Lilly charged into the brush, panting gasps escaping her lips. Her flashlight played over the grass and bushes, for without her light, she couldn’t see to navigate in the dark. Her foot tapped against something—a shiny metal helmet rolled under a shrub. The branches separated. Lilly looked in and screamed.
A gloved hand reached for the helmet. The owner of that hand stepped from its hiding place, put its helmet on, and stared at Lilly with glowing red eyes. Dressed in a lime green spacesuit, it stood about her height. Its bald head, thin lips, and masculine features made it look like a male human, but the pointed ears and flattened nose with nostrils like tiny slits defined him as extraterrestrial. His jagged teeth chattered.  He trembled like an electrified wire.

Lilly screamed again. “Get out of here,” she shouted. “Go home!”

About the Author:

Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. Her short stories have appeared in numerous small press magazines. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.

Other books by Barbara include City of Brotherly Death and Steel Rose, plus novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She’s also coauthored Alien Worlds and Starship Invasions (both now out of print) with Tom Johnson. She anticipates release of When Blood Reigns, the sequel to Steel Rose. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons and you’ll find her.

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